Differential distribution of presenilin-1, Bax, and Bcl-X(L) in Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia

Panteleimon Giannakopoulos, Enikò Kövari, Armand Savioz, Fabienne De Bilbao, Michel Dubois-Dauphin, Patrick R. Hof, Constantin Bouras

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35 Scopus citations


We have previously reported that presenilin-1 (PS-1)-immunoreactive neurons survive in late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). To examine if this is also the case in other dementing conditions, and if it is associated with changes in the expression of the main apoptosis-related proteins, a quantitative immunocytochemical study of presenilin-1, Bax, and Bcl-X(L) in the cerebral cortex of non-demented and AD patients, and patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) was performed. In non-demented cases, the frequency of neurons showing PS-1 immunoreactivity was 25-60%, Bax immunoreactivity 36-54%, and Bcl-X(L) immunoreactivity 26-63% depending on the cortical area. The frequency of NFT-free neurons which contained PS-1 or Bax was consistently increased in all of the areas in AD. In FTD cases, the percentage of PS-1-, but not Bax-immnunoreactive neurons was increased only in areas displaying a substantial neuronal loss. Conversely, there was no difference in the densities of Bcl-X(L)-containing neurons among the three diagnosis groups. These data suggest that surviving neurons in affected cortical areas in AD show a high expression of PS-1 and Bax, indicating that these proteins play a key role in the mechanisms of cell death in this disorder. In FTD, neurons containing PS-1 are preserved, further supporting a neuroprotective role for this protein in other neurodegenerative disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-149
Number of pages9
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • Dementia
  • Neurofibrillary tangles
  • Neuroprotection
  • Presenilin


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